Alexander Conan Photographic Collection


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In Collection: Alexander Conan Photographic Collection, PC
Description: STEREOSCOPIC COLLECTION // This section of the Alexander Conan Collection was photographed by Alexander Conan. It consists of 479 non-commercial black/white stereoscopic views relating largely to Dublin, Dalkey, Wicklow, England and Scotland ca 1913-1920s, including some of 1916 in Dublin. This Stereoscopic Collection forms part of a larger collection of Victorian-Edwardian glass plate photographic negatives, by Alexander Conan and others. It was purchased by the NLI from Gerry and Hilary Kennedy of Co. Mayo) on 14th August 2002. Gerry Kennedy is the grandson of Alexander Conan. Alexander Conan was a prominent Dublin merchant tailor in the early 1900s, a pioneering photographer, and also Secretary of the Photographic Society of Ireland. The Alexander Conan Stereoscopic Collection varies in size from 1.8" x 1.6" (4.6 x 4 cm) and 3" x 3" (7.7 x 7.7 cm). Generally, the pre-1916 photographs are larger. The Alexander Conan Stereoscopic Collection is primarily a family collection, depicting an upper middle class Dublin family on excursions, particularly to Dalkey, Killiney, Tipperary, Wicklow, Achill and to Belgium, Scotland and England. Some of the collection relates to WWI, and four photos relate to 1916 and the Easter Rising. Photos of Killiney and Dalkey predominate and there are more photos of Monkstown and Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire). These include sea views from Killiney Hill, the White Rocks beach, and the Dalkey Regatta. There is also a handful of photos of Glasnevin Cemetery and district, and of Cabinteely, Lucan, Portobello, Dublin Zoo and the North Circular Road. The Conan family travelled throughout the Ireland, photos capturing excursions in Wicklow to Poulaphuca, Glenmacnass Waterfall, Bray, Enniskerry, Lough Dan, and Glenview. They also visited Co. Tipperary, including Holy Cross Abbey and a horse fair in Thurles, and Hore Abbey near Cashel. Photos in Connemara include Kylemore Castle which was built by Conan stonemason relatives and which was the model for the Conan Dalkey home, and of Leenane and of Roundstone The photos from a trip to Achill in 1916 document the landscape, abandoned famine cottages and graveyards of the island. The Conan family visited England, Scotland and Belgium. The photos of their 1913 trip to Belgium were taken in Ostend, Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp. The Scottish travels picture Loch Lomond, Fort William and small towns on the Clyde. About one third of the collection documents travels to England, including to Bath, Wells, Highcliffe, Plymouth, Windermere, Glastonbury, Cheddar, Stratford on Avon, the Thames Valley and Bristol. Two photos document an Irish Volunteer review in 1915. The photographs of Dublin city centre in the aftermath of the 1916 Rising, or as labelled originally in the Conan Collection, the Sinn Fein Insurrection, date to May 1916. The Rising ended on April 30, and the photos were taken when it was considered safe to re-enter the city. One, taken from O’Connell Bridge, shows burnt out buildings on Eden Quay with large numbers of civilians making their way across the city or standing on the quays, and the trams appear to be running again. Three other photos possibly of North Earl St also show burnt out buildings passed by people going about their daily lives. Three rare photos of an airship over Dublin’s northern cityscape were taken from Dawson Street, possibly on 26th May 1916. A British Royal Navy Airships station was based at Malahide Castle between 1916 and 1918. The "Submarine Scout" or "Sea Scout" (SS) airships were used for submarine patrols on the Irish Sea and were equipped with bombs, a Lewis machine gun, and a wireless. They were also used for ground reconnaissance.

BREAKDOWN OF THE STEREOSCOPIC SECTION // The prints are contained in 7 folders as follows: Folder 1 = 42 images (Dublin, contains images from 1916 Rising); Folder 2 = 47 images (almost exclusively Dalkey and Killiney); Folder 3 = 42 images (very varied Achill, Tipperary, Connemara, Wicklow and parts of suburban Dublin); Folder 4 = 31 images (essentially Wicklow and parts of suburban Dublin but not Dalkey or Killiney); Folder 5 = 59 images (42 of Belgium and other varied Irish photographs); Folder 6 = 69 images (very varied Achill, Tipperary, Connemara, Wicklow and parts of suburban and coastal Dublin); Folder 7= 100 images (Exclusively Scotland and England); Folder 8 = 63 images (Exclusively Scotland and England).

SUMMARY OF THE STEREOSCOPIC SECTION OF THE COLLECTION PER AREA // DUBLIN: Easter Rising 4; Irish Volunteer review 2; Airships 3; Dublin street scenes from Kildare St 3; Kilinney 54; Dalkey 49; Glasnevin 4; Dublin zoo 7; Ireland’s Eye 5; RDS 4; Lucan 4; Liffey bridge 1; North Circular Road 4; Cabinteely 4; Portobello 2. CONNEMARA: Leenane 5; Kylemore Castle 2. ACHILL 10. TYPPERARY: Thurles 9 ; Cashel 5. WICKLOW: Rocky Valley 1; Herbert Hotel, Wicklow 1; Lough Dan 2; Enniskerry 6; Poulaphuca 3; Glenmacnass 3; Glendalough 4; Glenview 10; Bray 2; Roundstone 1.; Unknown- 3/5/3-2, 2/2/1-1 (Irish collection). BELGIUM 42 (Ghent, Ostend and Antwerp); ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND 163.
Main Creator: Conan, Alexander, photographer.
Created: [ca. 1890-1920].
Extent: 26 boxes ; in phase boxes, in preservation envelopes, mounted, in mylar.
235 : b&w.
19 : b&w.
157; 8 cm x 10.5 cm or smaller.
Format: Photo
Call Number: NPA CONAN (NPA Reading Room - Appt. only)
Rights: Reproduction rights owned by the National Library of Ireland.